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Barcelona announce new academy plans with base in Puebla, Mexico

Barcelona have moved into Mexico with the launch of their latest academy, their first in the country.

The Spanish champions opened their latest soccer school on Monday in the Mexican city of Puebla, with director of the Barca Academy Project, Carles Martin, overseeing the inauguration.

Barca say the academy is not geared towards finding the next Lionel Messi but rather "aimed at boys and girls aged between five and 18 who want to learn how to play football following FC Barcelona's methodology and values."

The club now have 45 academies in total spread across five continents, including eight in the United States and six in Canada.

In addition, they also run 180 campuses and 50 clinics, boasting a presence in 52 countries. Around 45,000 children are involved in the various projects.

Each academy previously went under the name "FCBEscola" but took on the branding "Barca Academy" earlier this year in an attempt for the club to boost their presence and improve their marketability in North America.

Barca bring the academies and campuses together once a year at their training base in the city for an annual tournament.

In March, 1,900 boys and girls spread across 172 teams took part in 600 games, with the finals for each age group held at the Mini Estadi next to Camp Nou.